Chocolate and mint are a great combination, especially when you use fresh mint. I used chopped mint leaves steeped in cream to make the ganache filling. It is addictive on its own and I love the grassy taste of fresh mint.
The cupcakes are a slight variation on the recipe I have been using lately. The texture is a little less brownie like, but dense, moist, and not-to-sweet chocolatey, just like I like.
I opted for peppermint extract for the frosting. I was doubtful of the outcome, but went easy on the extract and was very happy with the results. I am allowing myself only a half of one of these which I will eat later, so I will have to update the post with the “tasting notes” of the end result.
Update: I ate my half a cupcake…
I have tasted a number of cupcakes in the past year and am a little jaded, you could say. But the combination of the cake and frosting in this recipe is amazing. I could have had a whole one. I will be honest, you can skip the filling and keep it simple, the cake and frosting alone make one hell of a tasty cupcake.
24 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven
200 gram bar of Valrhona 61% cocao
3 sticks butter
2-1/4 cups sugar
1-1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1. chop chocolate and transfer into the bowl of a standing mixer.
2. add butter to the chocolate and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. stir until chocolate melts and butter is combined.
3. remove from heat and stir in sugar. let mixture cool for 10 minutes.
4. beat in an electric mixer for 3 minutes.
5. add one egg at a time, mixing for 30 seconds between each
6. sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and a pinch of salt into the mixture and mix until blended.
7. scoop into cupcake cups and bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon chopped mint leaves
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1. chop chocolate and transfer into a heat proof bowl.
2. heat cream and 1/4 cup mint until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, pour cream through strainer, over the chocolate.
3. let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.
4. add butter and the remaining teaspoon of chopped mint and stir until combined.
5. let cool then transfer to the refrigerator to thicken, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
filling pastry bag
Mint Buttercream Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon all natural peppermint extract
1. beat butter until creamy, scrape bowl.
2. add 4 cups of sifted powdered sugar, milk, and peppermint extract, beat until combined.
3. add more powdered sugar as needed to get piping consistency.
Note: I tried to keep the mint flavor subtle and not too overpowering. I recommend starting on the light side with 1/8 teaspoon or less and tasting to get the flavor you want.
1. stuff the cupcakes with ganache using the cone method (cut out a cone shape from the top, cut off the pointy cone part, stuff the whole with filling, then put the top back on)
2. frost them.
3. top with something green (if you want), like a mint leaf, green candy, or whatever you fancy.